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what is the higher form of art?

Once I posed the question to a good classical pianist.

The question went something like, "What is the higher form of art, interpreting a known work by Beethoven or some other composer, that has been interpreted by thousands of great players over and over again--or creating a singular work that defies duplication or interpretation?"

Being a Julliard grad and a semi-finalist in one of the Queen Elisabeth concerto competitions she predictably argued for the former. It was a long discussion. I gave her some Art Tatum recordings (even with her professional credentials she had never heard of Art Tatum) and several months later she said she was reconsidering her answer.

I think jazz sometimes does that to people.

"Lesser artists borrow, great artists steal." Igor Stravinsky

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